There has been recent research that suggests most employees want to continue to work from home at least some of the time. According to data from the Office of National Statistics, prior to COVID-19 only around 5% of the workforce worked mainly from home. This is a significant change, and it affects small businesses too.
For most organisations, the introduction of hybrid working will require a significant culture shift and establishing new ways of working. Guildford HR is being asked to give guidance to employers as to how associated policies and practices need to be developed to support this significant change which is happening right now. We start by considering how the employer wants to operate, the company culture, and what is important to their clients, and then we take a step back and review what works operationally but also consider what the employees are looking for. We have one client where graduates are keen to be in an office environment as their rental accommodation does not lend itself to home working, and we have some employees who enjoyed the flexibility of working remotely and don’t want to come back to the office. However, the most common responses we are hearing is that employees want a hybrid solution.
What will happen to those employers that do not embrace Hybrid working?
In some sectors, it is of course not possible to offer Hybrid working, but employers should consider how their employees are expecting to return to the office, and if they are not offered hybrid working, what could this mean. Guildford HR believes this will in time have an impact on employee turnover and there will be challenges when attracting key talent. Larger companies are already making very public statements about flexible working and hybrid working.
Benefit to employers
Flexible working we know has a benefit to the employer in terms of the cost of office facilities etc, but we also know that flexible working can reduce absence rates and improve employee engagement; all of which delivers increased productivity.
What should an employer be considering now?
Is the employer going to consider a long-term approach to hybrid working, or explore a temporary hybrid working model, before making any decisions, we recommend completing a poll/survey with your teams?
For those employers that are undecided, timing is running out, why not consider a short-term way of working and review again, with your people at 3 months and then at 6 months to see what is working well for the business and for your team.
How can Guildford HR help?
We work with a range of different clients and can relate to the challenges for small employers but via our network, we have a real understanding of what employees are now looking for. Why not give us a call where we can have an initial conversation as to how we could support your business.